Friday, February 27, 2009

the petite gourmet

You can shape your child into a petite gourmet—or at least try! I make some foods from scratch, but there is simply no way to keep this up as a working mom. Here are a few of my easy, secret weapons for children over one year:

1.) Frozen peas, beans, corn or edamame (especially in the winter) from Cascade Farms. Find in the natural or organic frozen section.
2.) Frozen pureed winter squash also from Cascade Farms. Add this to Annie’s Macaroni and Cheese (or any other Mac ‘n Cheese). It makes it sweeter and more nutritious!
3.) Gerber Graduates Fruit bars. These are really soft (even enough for a one-year old) and are made with 100% fruit—no sugar added! We are addicted! Find in the baby section of your grocery store.

4.) Sweet Potato Fries. I love the Alexia brand (also in the natural or organic section of your grocery store). Sweet Potato fries are fun for kids to eat (because they are fries), but are much more nutritious than white fries.

5.) I always have a few of the Earth’s Best frozen dinners in my freezer “just in case.” They have fewer add-ins and fillers than other pre-made dinners and they are “all natural.” They’re also taste test approved! Also in the natural/organic section.

6.) Robert’s Pirate Booty. These cheese puffs are fun to eat and are made with all natural ingredients. They even make a spinach and kale variety!

7.) My two dairy tricks are cottage cheese and goat cheese. Cottage cheese is a great snack that is high in protein and calcium. You can serve it with fruit or applesauce. If you start this around one year (small curd) and the child will eat it, you have an easy alternative to yogurt. Goat cheese is actually quite mild—Owen is a big fan (as are his parents). Serve it on crackers! I like the Chavrie brand for its mildness, “spreadability” and high quality for the price. Find it in the cheese section of your grocery store.
8.) Meat—I have not found acceptable frozen or pre-made meat. I will do another post on this… I make my own chicken nuggets, turkey meatballs and poached salmon and freeze for later use. And it's very easy. Recipes coming soon!

Monday, February 9, 2009

Boys, play with dolls?

I read a wonderful article in the recent issue of Mothering Magazine (my dear friend Raissa kindly bought me a subscription to the magazine when Owen was born). The subscription has since expired, but then a co-worker picked up a copy for me. I guess people have been drawn to give me the magazine. Anyway, there’s an enlightening article about the benefits of doll play for boys. The article was written by a skeptical male, who in the end succeeds that doll play is a wonderful way for boys to learn how to nurture and father. Jeff is not as enthusiastic as the author, but he’s on-board and amused.

Nurture, mmmmm… I thought it would be perfect for Owen, because like other 2-year- old boys, he could use a bit more of that. I also am a big fan of gender neutral toys—and mixing it up—trucks for girls, kitchen/doll for boys, etc…..

So, Owen has “baby” now. Is it his favorite toy? No, it’s not. But he does enjoy playing with baby—feeding him a bottle, burping, changing clothes, pretending to change a diaper, etc. Also, he likes wearing him in this homemade sling for a little while.
Half the time he’s nurturing, the rest, well, I guess testosterone gets the rest. Baby is thrown across the room, bopped on the head or he’ll perform a wild rendition of “rock a bye baby.” These are the hide your laughter, and try and teach moments.

One very interesting coincidence about the doll’s arrival…Potty training miraculously started! mmmmm

Sunday, February 1, 2009

snow painting

All you need to paint snow is food coloring, water, and a squeezable and empty condiment container (like from a restaurant) to make the "paint," + snow. Note that I had red and Owen had blue.....

Owen requested that I take a pictures...then I thought I'd put them here.

The artist.

This is a highly recommended activity (about 2 yrs plus) for both enjoying the outdoors, beating the "winter blues" and being artistic. On top of that, it costs almost nothing!